State Senate backs study on Native deaths, disappearances

March 2, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Senate has voted unanimously in support of creating a task force to study how the state should address the deaths and disappearances of Native American women.

Rep. Derrick Lente, a Democrat, is co-sponsoring the measure and introduced it in the House. He previously said part of its purpose is to shed light on the number of indigenous people who have gone missing.

The bill is one of numerous measures in state legislatures, mostly in the West and Midwest, drafted to address the issue this year.

Some bills, like New Mexico’s, call for state-funded task forces. Others aim to establish positions within state law enforcement dedicated to logging and tracking the cases.

The Senate approved the bill Friday.

The Indian Affairs Department secretary would be responsible for leading the task force.

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